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Logo of bmcgenoBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Genomics
 
BMC Genomics. 2009; 10: 191.
Published online Apr 24, 2009. doi:  10.1186/1471-2164-10-191
PMCID: PMC2681482
Genomic organization and classification of the bovine WC1 genes and expression by peripheral blood gamma delta T cells
Carolyn TA Herzigcorresponding author1 and Cynthia L Baldwin1,2
1Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 01003, USA
2Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 01003, USA
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Carolyn TA Herzig: cherzig/at/vasci.umass.edu; Cynthia L Baldwin: cbaldwin/at/vasci.umass.edu
Received December 17, 2008; Accepted April 24, 2009.
Abstract
Background
WC1 co-receptors are group B scavenger receptor cysteine-rich molecules that are found exclusively on γδT cells and are thought to be encoded by a multi-gene family. Previous studies have shown γδT cells that respond to a particular stimulus have unique WC1 molecules expressed. Prior to the onset of the studies described here only one full-length WC1 nucleotide sequence was publicly available, though three WC1 molecules had been distinguished based on monoclonal antibody reactivity. Furthermore, the number of WC1 genes found in the bovine genome and their sequences had not yet been resolved.
Results
By annotating the bovine genome Btau_3.1 assembly, here we show the existence of 13 members in the WC1 gene family and their organization within two loci on chromosome 5 including three distinct exon-intron gene structures one of which coded for a potentially more primitive and smaller WC1 molecule that is similar to the swine WC1 gene. We also provide cDNA evidence as verification for many of the annotated sequences and show transcripts for isoforms derived by alternative splicing.
Conclusion
It is possible that WC1 diversity contributes to functional differences that have been observed between γδT cell populations. The studies described here demonstrate that WC1 molecules are encoded by a large, multi-gene family whose transcripts undergo extensive alternative splicing. Similar to other non-rearranging immunoreceptors, it is likely that the WC1 gene repertoire underwent expansion in order to keep pace with rapidly changing ligands.
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